National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on society. Last year, the RIBA and a Trailblazer group of architects launched the first architecture apprenticeship scheme. Now the first apprenticeships are underway, HLM Architects, part of the Trailblazer group, are supporting Daniel Stokes in its team as one of the first apprentices. He is studying at Southbank University, one of the first to offer the course.

Daniel said: “This apprenticeship scheme is a major step forward for the architecture profession. It opens up architecture to more people, diversifying the profession and enriching our contribution to the built environment.”

Training to be an architect is a long and expensive process. You need about £45-48K full time to qualify. The apprenticeship scheme allows individuals to learn architecture over a part-time study period, allowing students to work at the same time.

Karen Mosley, Managing Director of HLM Architects, said: “The new apprenticeship scheme is a brilliant initiative that opens up architecture to everyone, at a time when the construction sector is experiencing a decline in student numbers.

“Importantly, it also links practice and academia, so apprentices can learn the technical and design process at university while enhancing wider, softer skills within a practice, such as communication, team working and business acumen. This benefits the apprentice, our business, and ultimately the communities and users of the architecture we deliver.”

Karen added: “At HLM, we’re a great believer in apprenticeships across our business and currently have several underway for those in support and administrative roles. It’s a major step forward that we can now also offer this route to our design team too.”

The qualifications now available through the RIBA scheme are: Level 6 architectural assistant including Part I qualification, and Level 7 architect, which includes Part II and Part III.

HLM Architects is an architecture firm with studios in London, Sheffield, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and the UAE. The company has 150 employees and is led by Chairman Richard O’Neil. It offers landscape architecture, interior design and sustainability services to the health, education, defence, justice, hospitality, workplace & civic and living & communities sectors. Clients include major developers, contractors, health trusts, universities and the Ministry of Defence.